64-unit ‘affordable housing’ plans unveiled

Engineer John Montagne of Greenman-Pedersen Inc. shows off the site of a proposed Fulton Friendship House addition to the Johnstown City Planning Board Tuesday night at City Hall. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — Fulton Friendship House, specializing in the treatment of drug and alcohol abuse, on Tuesday unveiled plans for its new 64-unit affordable housing complex in the city.

Agency Executive Director Thomas Ryan said following a presentation before the city Planning Board at City Hall that the new two-story building will also help with programming.

Especially, he said program needs will be met serving those with disabilities or early dementia. He said there will be eight units for that care.

“We find there’s a strong need for that,” Ryan said.

A site plan for a new Fulton Friendship House 65,000-square-foot housing building at 507 N. Perry St. came before the planning board.

Ryan said October will mark the 33-year anniversary of Fulton Friendship House in the community.

He said 56 of the new units will be for the agency’s existing Manor Program. He said his agency has a contract with the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services to provide residential services and treatment.

“These are people who can’t live on their own,” he said.

According to the project narrative, Fulton Friendship House is partnering with CSD Housing LLC, AND Architecture & Design, Greenman-Pedersen Inc. of Albany, and Coldwell Banker to create the V-shaped, “mixed supportive” low-income, affordable housing project. The building will have a central commons hub at the intersection of two wings.

“The east wing radiates from the hub in an easterly direction and is the shorter wing,” the narrative says. “The south wing radiates from the hub in a southeasterly direction and is the longer of the two wings. The structure will utilize a concrete foundation with slab on grade first floor with woodframe construction above the first-floor slab. The exterior finish will be a combination of cultured stone and durable clapboard siding with asphalt shingle roofing.”

Greenman-Pedersen engineer John Montagne said the new project involving a “managed facility” will be on 37 acres in a wooded area, and there are wetlands to the north.

Showing off the site plan, Montagne said there will be 45 parking spaces, most of the spots just for staff. A small playground area and a patio will sit in the back.

“The access road winds in through the front,” Montagne said.

Ryan said Fulton Friendship House will be moving one of its programs from its current 462 N. Perry St. location to the new building. He said the agency, as it has for years, will provide transportation for residents’ needs such as doctor visits, grocery stores, as well as socialization.

Fulton Friendship House meets a need for those in the community who don’t “belong” in a nursing home, but are in one by default.

The board passed a resolution to serve as lead agency for the project’s state Environmental Quality Review process.

A public hearing on the project will be conducted at 4 p.m. Oct. 2 at City Hall, after which the board may issue a final permit.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.